Readers are advised this story mentions the physical and sexual abuse of Indigenous children in institutions. There are no graphic accounts included, but the subject matter may be triggering for some people.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby delivered an unequivocal apology to children, grandchildren and survivors of Canadian residential schools over the weekend, describing their experiences as “a bit of hell” that was “built by the Church and in the name of the Church.”
The Anglican Church leader met with dignitaries from Indigenous governments from James Smith Cree Nation and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. There, he heard the stories of school survivors about how the residential school system ripped families apart, raised self-doubt and self-confidence issues and left them with traumas as a result of sexual and physical abuse.
“It is the rawest, wickedest, most terrible thing, to molest a child while you read them the Bible,” a sombre Welby told the group after hearing the harrowing accounts.